This is the first of my contributions to Natalie's Blogger's Parliament - see Link on the right margin - where a number of folks are thinking about ways to solve problems.
One of the factors that has got our wind operation off the ground on PEI - soon to be 15% of our energy production, was the use of government as a kick start. The federal and Provincial Governments both bought the initial block of power. Enough to get started and to build the infrastructure such as the main wiring.
Biodiesel is making progress in parts of the US. In Minnesota the snow ploughs are in the vanguard. Well we have lots of ploughs. We also have lots of school buses.
Could we not do "wind" with bio-diesel and ethanol? Could we not set up an RFP to our farmers to use a large amount of locally made fuel from them in all government vehicles? We would therefore encourage not only the growing of the crops but the creation of the conversion facility and the distribution system. We would be on our way to energy independence.
In an Atlantic deal PEI could become also the major wind producer as we have the best resource. We could in turn expand the growing of oil seed crops all over Atlantic Canada. A real partnership.
Here is what we are playing for
Most of the cost of setting up a wind regime is in the initial infrastructure. Once this has been repaid, costs fall to maintenance levels. At some time during this period, we can expect world oil prices to take off. The key is to become independent. Today not only are we dependent on oil but nearly every penny we spend leaves the Island - about $300 million or a third of the government budget. Most of the health budget and more than we pay for education to put this into perspective.
There is more. Work is underway to link our wind-power to the development of hydrogen. Wind is one of the few clean ways of creating hydrogen. With hydrogen we can then fuel up local fuel cells. Maybe not for vehicles but for more local generation of electricity - it becomes our wind battery in effect.
We are so close. All the parts are here. All we have to do is say - let's go for it and we will get there.